Lead magnets are dead

17/08/2021 | By Sandy
Summary points:
  • How to revitalise the digital marketer’s most essential asset

We’re firm in our belief that a lot of today’s marketing is repulsive. A prime example is the current state of lead magnets: the free offers companies give you in exchange for submitting your email address.

Offering outstanding lead magnets is critical to a company’s brand because a lead magnet is the first taste a prospective customer has of a comp≠any’s expertise, goodwill, and attention to detail. It offers a glimpse of what it’s like to do business together.

The lead magnets of old provided outstanding value

Lead magnets were developed by the copywriting legend Dan Kennedy as a way to say, Thank you so much for giving me your email address. Here’s a free piece of exceptional value that will fix one of your problems.

He condensed powerful, problem-solving ideas into emails and PDFs and gave them bold titles like, “How to Solve All Your Advertising, Marketing and Sales Problems – Once and For All!”

But Dan’s original lead magnet ideas have now been replicated for over a decade without further development, and without the care he took to create an exceptional customer experience. It’s become standard practice to bundle a few tips together in a PDF or simply offer “10% off your first purchase if you subscribe to our emails”. Audiences are now numb to what feels like transactional, low-value lead magnets.

It’s up to marketers to produce a new generation of quality lead magnets

Our offers must reflect Dan’s original principles, yet stand out as relevant and premium to today’s internet browsers.

That means:

  1. Thoroughly research your customers. Learn their problems and develop a solution that they will be thrilled to have.
  2. Make sure your offer passes the litmus test: If it doesn’t solve a problem, it isn’t valuable.
  3. Present your offer in the optimal format: Is text, audio, or video the most intuitive way to digest it?

Here are some examples

  • A mortgage broker can build a calculator that helps their prospects work out a budget for their first home
  • A grocery store or café can share their favourite recipes… in well-designed formats that print beautifully
  • A mechanic can provide DIY car maintenance tips in a video that demonstrates each part of the process
  • A financial adviser can distil their philosophy into a free book that’s gorgeous enough to keep on a coffee table
  • A technology company can create a weekly email series with in-depth news on industry-relevant topics - think The Hustle or Stratechery
  • A software company can provide a freemium offering - like WeTransfer

Taking the time to produce quality lead magnets is a sound investment. On top of maximising your lead generation, it will present prospects with an experience that sparks a relationship. We can vouch for it - check out the reviews of our lead magnet a few scrolls down.

Written by Sandy

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